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Measurement of Erythrocyte C4d and Complement Receptor 1 in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Ahearn, Joseph, MD

University of Pittsburgh

November 1, 2004

C4-derived activation fragments are the only complement ligands present on the surfaces of normal erythrocytes. The significance of this observation is unknown, and the role of erythrocyte-bound C4 (E-C4) in human disease has not been explored. More than any other human disease, the pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) has been characterized by defects in clearance of complement-bearing immune complexes via erythrocytes expressing complement receptor 1 (CR1). This study was undertaken to determine whether these functional defects might be reflected by abnormal patterns of E-C4 and E-CR1 expression on erythrocytes of patients with SLE.

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